The Bishop of the Tamale Diocese of the Anglican Church, Right Reverend Dr Jacob Ayeebo, has charged the leadership of political parties to ensure that their respective campaign machineries focus on selling “brilliant and positive life changing ideas and policies of your parties to the electorate”.
“I request all stakeholders in this year’s elections to employ campaign strategies that are devoid of hate speech and intemperate language but rather create a free, fair, objective and equal opportunity playing ground for peaceful elections for Ghana to remain the beacon of democracy in the West African sub-region”.
Intimidation and tension
The Bishop, who is also a Member of the Council of State, intimated that it was “unacceptable in civilised politics for some politicians to employ the services of strong men not only to vote for them, but to support them during rallies, influencing the youth, intimidating political opponents and in the worst cases, act as catalysts for violence against opponents and their supporters”.
He also noted that during elections it was common for rumours and misinformation to circulate which could eventually intensify tensions between political parties and tribes.
In such situations, he called on the print, electronic and the social media, to play a vital role in fostering peace by adhering to basic principles of journalism and code of conduct.
The Rt Rev. Dr Ayeebo advised the security agencies to bring perpetrators of violence to book irrespective of their political affiliation and equally entreated religious leaders to use “the pulpit to preach peace and not to do politics”.